Discussion in 'Member Rides' started by Rob043, Dec 1, 2015.
Great info here mate....I'll defiantly be keeping an eye on this for hints and tips!
A great in depth write up mate, enjoyed reading it
Look forward to the updates
Great thread. I'll be watching. I'll be buying something with similar mileage in the new year so will be doing the same things.
Nice car. I've not thought about buying a black one but the do look good.
This thread looks like it's going to be a gooden! OE 18s look on point on the e46 m3, I can't think of a better looking wheel for them! Nice work man!
Good read so far!
Thank you all for the comments
Well I tried bleeding the brakes over the holiday, with success on the rears and a failure on the front:
One bleed nipple was having none of it, and broke. They had all had a bit of WD40 to soak in, but the front drivers side one wasn’t satisfied with that. I thought I might try a stud extractor, but on discussing with my friend Ewan, a machinist, he made a long sighing sound followed by a sucking in of air when I explained my plans, and suggested I give him the calliper to drill out the remaining stud. So I did, and he did.
Lined up in a vice:
Head squared up:
And drilled out. It’s an M8 x 1.25 thread, so a 6.8mm drill bit is the one to cut out the old stud, leaving the original thread in the calliper unharmed (very impressive), and just the old thread to pick out.
The bottom part had to be picked out once the main threaded portion of the stud was drilled away, apparently this was fiddly too, but was done successfully, leaving the calliper perfect.
The state of the callipers was very apparent to me, but I was going to wait till summer before painting them. However, since the rusty state of this one was in my face, and It was off the car, I ordered the paint kit from ‘Brake Calliper Specialists’. So I can do this one indoors, and that’ll be a start on tidying them up.
Some other bits arrived too:
Comprising the remaining filters and engine oil needed for an oil change. It had an oil change at the garage I bought it from, about 2000 miles ago, but I have no way of knowing if it’s premium oil they used, so I’ll be happier when I change it again soon with the Castrol 10w 60.
The lovely Phil at Cotswald BMW was quick again with more parts too. An indicator lens to replace a cracked one. A replacement front headlight level sensor arm, bonnet badge to replace the delaminating one that’s on there, and the 4 bleed nipples. I got the uprated diff bolts while I was at it which I’ll fit some time, and also battery cover trim clips for the boot as they were missing.
The next jobs are to paint and refit the front calliper, the indicator and level sensor, badge, and then change out power steering fluid. I have a turkey baster and a dose of ATF on the way. I’ll just replace what’s in the reservoir a couple of times over coming weeks to freshen the oil in the system. I’m getting there with the task of replacing all fluids.
I also wanted to mention how much fun it's been driving the car, even in heavy rain! The couple of drives I did over the last few weeks were all on very, very wet roads and yet the car feels so planted and is great fun! No drifting for me, but it doesn't feel like it will be easily unsettled. No idea what the rear tires are either, conti M3's on the front. I'm looking forward to getting in to some Scottish Highland west coast roads on dry summer roads with some fresh Michaelin PSS on all corners!
Last week has seen a bit more tinkering. I got the replacement front level sensor fitted, complete with additional zip tie to secure it, and a new stainless nyloc nut (not pictured).
I’d really like to give the underside a degrease and wash some time. But that’ll likely be in the summer at some point. I wonder if it would even stay clean for long…?
I replaced the stone chipped/cracked old indicator. Nice easy job, one screw in the top and a connector to undo. I’m happy enough with the standard orange bulbs. But is this sacrilege? Should I have some silver ones? Seems like black magic to me, a silver orange indicator…
Old one, complete with condensation:
Super fresh new one:
It looks fresher than the old right hand side one, but not much. I’ve not had the car out in good daylight to see if I can notice a difference. Hopefully not. Side repeaters look pretty good, so not planning to replace them yet, although I see a few people do to refresh the looks. Delaminated bonnet badge is still to do, once I get a plastic tool for the job.
I got the black paint kit from ‘Brake Calliper Specialists’. Took a week to arrive, but seems like good stuff and plenty paint to do callipers and carriers. I also thought I might try using it on wheel bolt heads. It likely wouldn’t last long, but that may not stop me trying.
The osf calliper was off the car to sort the bleed nipple, so I had decided to get the paint and do that calliper before refitting. Then I can do the other three as and when. I started rubbing down, the carrier too, but made the slight mistake of doing this in my ‘bike room’ workshop that is the spare bedroom of my flat. Between the drill with wire brush and grinding bits on a dremmel, the room and me were soon covered in dust.
I finished the job outside. But spent a good couple of hours scrubbing them back. Then painted:
Forgot to take a picture of it fitted and behind the wheel, but it’s very nice. Not at all overt in black, and being the smaller standard calliper rather than a nice bbk, but it’s much better that looking closely you can see a black calliper instead of a rusty one. Not good enough on an M3! I’ll get round to the others soon I hope. And not rub them down indoors.
Still more servicing to do with the parts as previously assembled. Also wanting to get the nav unit out and pop an aux cable in so I can enjoy my ipod in the car. Though it’s hard to tire of the S54 soundtrack.
I got the brake back on and bled at the weekend, and a friend came to see me at the lock up just as I was finishing, so I took he and I for a spin. We did a bit of the A712 from Crocketford. That whole road is worth a go if you are ever up this way. It was wet, but I know a couple of sections quite well (It was a favourite in the Golf’s), and although my friend is well versed in being a calm passenger to crazed tradesmen in van’s (in his apprentice days), he was highly alarmed and impressed at the car’s abilities! There were a couple of loud ‘WOW!’ ‘s as we kept building speed before braking in to tight turns… And grip seemed great to corner hard on the few long radius turns that road has. The car still impresses me, so it was quite an experience for him as he’s usually either in his van or his A5 2 litre tdi. All good clean fun.
Thanks for looking.
Nice job on the brakes.
Thanks, still the other three to do over the coming weeks. I'm a slow worker.
Little bit of time on it last night….
I got the old bonnet badge off fairly easily with a plastic baby spoon and my fingers… New one was a tight fit in to the grommets, I hope it lasts a long time, as I don’t want to have to remove it!
Also got a photo of the one painted calliper on the front, not that it’s very visible at all, but it’s so nice not to see rust. Might get to do a rear one over the weekend:
I then moved to the interior. I’ve been meaning to remove the nav unit for ages to check the auxiliary connector arrangement, so I can get a 3.5mm stereo jack adapter to use with an ipod.
Stereo out and there was the connector as I’d seen in videos. I just unwrapped the extra piece of loom wrap to free it. Cable ordered from ebay for £4, it might route neatly in to the ash tray at the bottom of the centre console. I’d like to remove the ash tray from behind the folding lid and line out the wee pocket with some soft black fabric, then the ipod can sit in there, hidden when required. It’s an old ipod nano I’ll be using, so should fit nicely.
Next job I remembered to do was removing the centre arm rest.
I’d checked a video guide on youtube. Easy enough process. I’m about 6ft tall, but have fairly long limbs for my height, so as nice as the arm rest can be when cruising on a straight road, It can be more awkward that I’d like to get 4th or 2nd gears ‘in a hurry’. So I’ll try the car without it for a bit, and replace the console if needed.
I then had a look at the phone holder. It has a blank tray in it, rather than a holder for a phone that won’t exist anymore, I’ll need to try unplugging it and see if the Bluetooth hands free still works, as I could then get a centre console a tray or cup holder….
More good fun today. Changed the fuel filter...
Got the lower end off with the quick release fastener fairly easily, pushing the while bit in as I pulled the hose off.
Then the following spanners on the other end:
19mm for the nut, and a 15/16ths for the flats of the pressure regulator housing. I've just seen using an adjustable mentioned for the housing end, but the 15/16ths was a good fit.
Wow, so thats the 14/12/04 on the original filter! Which explains this:
Visibly brown petrol out of the back of the filter....
Thankfully it was still clear out of the front end.
I finished up, then turned the ignition on twice, waiting for the noise of the fuel pump to stop, then a third time before starting the engine. It fired straight up and ran without fault. I turned it off after nearly a minute, so hopefully it'll be running fine on its next start.
I also enjoyed admiring my freshly painted front calliper and carrier from under the car. Took a wee moment to lie there staring at it... Also caught sight of the drain and fill plugs on the gearbox. I'll be at them soon for a gearbox oil change I think. Looked comfortably accessible. As did the clutch bleed nipple, so I'll bleed that to. Then the list of fluids to replace will be getting quite short...
A little time was available last night on the way to the forest, and my aux cable had arrived. Good looking cable, posted to me, for £3.99. How is this possible?
Anyway, clipped it on, and fed it down towards the ashtray, then with the metal ash-tray removed there is a small opening that I fished the cable through:
The ash tray and lighter are now removed from the car, I have a little patch of fleece fabric coming to line the tray with, and the ipod and lead fit in snugly. Along with a flush little charging socket for when power is needed. Nav unit back in and all is working nicely. Neigh on the correct period of iPod for the car too
Lid closed and it’s all out of sight too, perfecto.
I should be enjoying this tonight, taking the girlfriend out for dinner to a town a few miles away, so I’ll have a chance to enjoy the tunes.
Hoping to try and change the gear box oil on Sunday…
Great day with the car on Sunday. I decided not to ride any bikes, and stay dry working under the car instead. So, raised her on to axle stands at the front, and got the under trays off to change gearbox oil and bleed the clutch.
Clutch bleed was easy, no seized nipple thanks to the under tray keeping it clean. 7mm spanner, and gravity sorted the bleed (I pushed the peddle once). Let it run 100ml or so then did it back up.
There was no problem with the clutch before, and it felt the same after. I had just wanted to change the fluid as it was likely never done, and may have absorbed water that could cause corrosion. It’s part of the fluid refresh program.
Gearbox oil was fairly easy to do, despite only having one end of the car up a bit. Oil and mixing had been discussed here a little:
My text copied from the thread:
Refilled my gearbox yesterday, using the 'thick when cold' Fuchs MTF 75w/90 (fully synthetic) mixed 50/50 with a dexron 3 grade ATF (semi synthetic I think).
Results were positive. 2nd gear was still tight on the first start and use, I wouldn't like to say it was better to any significant degree. Other gears seemed to be very smooth, perhaps a little better than before, and once warmed a little, 2nd gear was good, but I think that is as per the old oil. I drove the car a couple of miles, stopped to pick up a friend (20 min stop), went a wee run, then stopped for a while before home. the car didn't get fully cold again while it was stopped, but 2nd was always good after initial warm up. I think there has been an improvement, but I would try another couple of outings to be sure.
The old oil was pretty black. Doubtless the original after 100k miles. Both drain plugs (17mm socket I think), just took a tug on a 18'' breaker bar to free off. Refilling was done with a gearbox oil bottle that has a 3in flexible pull out neck. That was enough to feed in to the fill hole, and squeezing the bottle to fill the gearbox. Got about half a litre from the bottle per squeeze, then refill it with the mix and go again.
I’ll run this for a while. Hoping now it’s mixed in to the box it might give a more noticeable improvement on the first 2nd gear shift after starting. Maybe switching for a fancier thinner MTF oil in future, but I’ll see how it goes. I can often get away with just one cold shift to second as I pull away to leave town on a run.
While I was under the car, I noted that there were two less screws than there could be for the trays, so managed to find one substitute in the garage, but I’ll order some replacements.
I also spotted a failed heat shield fixing. The heat shield had broken away at the perimeter of the half inch washer on the securing bolt. So… I used a handy VW exhaust heat shield retainer:
Over an inch diameter, so held the heat shield rather nicely again:
All fettled nicely, I took the car for a spin up the A702 again (Dalveen Pass). Where it continued to impress me. Stopped for some gloomy pictures, though not for long as there was a strong, cold wind. I also had the chance, when picking a friend up, to sit in his street and admire the car for a bit. When it’s in the garage away from my flat, and dark so much of the time, it’s nice to sit and look at it when it’s outside in daylight. It is a thing of beauty after all.
(Phone photos, lazily ‘enhanced’ as they were quite dark)
I then got it back in the garage, cleaned the inside a bit, then took it apart again!
Drivers rear calliper off for painting through the week, also the pads weren’t sliding freely, and the handbrake was too low on lever travel, so a clean and lube of mechanisms is on the go. The handbrake adjuster screw was broken, so getting a new one ordered.
Nice updates mate , how much was your new fuel cap ?
about £15 I think, ebay find, new but from Hungry or somewhere East, and took a couple of weeks to arrive.
Results from removing the arm rest (I forgot to mention this earlier)- huge success! Much more comfortable for gear changes, and my hands are generally on the steering wheel, so I’m not missing the perch either. Now I need to find a non-armrest centre console. Due to my interior being quite tidy and scratch free, I doubt I’ll find a second hand unit in tidy enough condition, so it’ll likely need to be a new one. I’m in no rush, but will pick one up when I’m next feeling flush.
I had a little sticking from the driver’s side rear brake when the car had been sat for a while. It came free with a thud on a couple of occasions when it had sat outside, and I wasn’t that sure if it was the disc calliper or the handbrake, I’m thinking it was the disc pads now. On stripping it down, the sliders on the carrier bracket are in need of a clean and grease, and the ‘expanding lock’ that the handbrake cable pulls (to push out the handbrake shoes out) was seized. That then explains why the hand brake felt one sided, and why my lever travel was so low with the cable nipped up at the lever end.
Thus I’ll clean up the carrier and paint it before reassembly so the disc brake works nicely. I was going to get a new expanding lock for the handbrake, but I’ll just clean up this one instead. I got it to open up once off the car with a bit of WD40 and prodding with a screw driver. Only a tenner + postage for a new one, but it’ll be fine once cleaned back.
Manky rusty bits, now rubbed back and ready for painting this evening:
I’d already ordered a replacement adjuster screw from Cotswald’s, as that was broken. The threaded stud had broken free, so the adjuster didn’t work. Odd thing to fail surely.
Also in that order were the extra under tray screws I needed, and the new screws for the headlights to replace the slightly corroded ones (why not, I’d thought). I had already replaced my front left indicator due to it being badly cracked, but thought the other was ok. On closer inspection, it had two small cracks low down from stone chips, and wasn’t as bright as the other new one anyway. So It’s been replaced too.
Forecast looks to be a few degrees warmer with rain today/tomorrow, so If I get the painting done tonight and reassembly tomorrow, I might find salt free roads to take the car out on. Fingers crossed.
A happy Friday evening was spent painting the nearside rear calliper and carrier.
It must have taken nearly two hours on the dremmel to clean it all up to this:
Then painted up to this, with the slider rubbers cleaned and a new bleed nipple:
Installation of the disc calliper went fine, but the handbrake was a real pain to get the lower spring on to the shoes. Managed to slap myself in the nose and forehead with a pair of plyers that lost grip on a tensioned spring. Why I was pulling it so hard towards my face, I don’t know. I had to look round and make sure no one saw me, and see that blood wasn’t coming from anywhere. It smarted a tad. I got there in the end, after some cursing, and wished I’d looked for a guide or tips on the reassembly before doing it. Looked grand once done though:
I need to wind a bit more on to the adjuster though, now that it’s back together and tested on a hill.
I checked the gritting schedule and all looked good for a drive on Sunday. Steady rain for the most part, but that was fine. I had a great run along ‘The Queens way’ (A712) to Newton Stewart, from Dumfries. This road is superb. About 32 miles long, a good surface and a superb mix of turns. Plenty of long radius’s and tightening ones to watch for, yumps and crests, open sections and scenic too. I’d enjoyed it before in a Golf, but it has never been as fun as last Sunday in the rain with an M3!
There are some really sweet sections, and a few gaps to chill out on along the 32 miles. I went in to Newton Stewart for fuel at the other end as I was getting low:
From here you can turn round and do the road back again, or take the main road back to Dumfries as a relaxed warm down. Although that would make a good lap if you went via Kirkudbright and to the coast road as a return. Or head for the Isle of Whithorn or Scotlands most southern point. I’ve not been there yet, so that’s an exploration for another time.
I had decided to head North from Newton Stewart to Girvan and Ayr, to get to the A76 to take me down to Sanquhar to visit my granddad. The road up to Girvan (20 odd miles) had great potential, some lovely sections and turns, but the surface was appalling. So I was mostly tiptoeing around craters.
Stopped at Girvan with a view of Ailsa Craig (Island) behind:
Such a dull day by photograph, but it didn’t seem that way when driving the car! The sand behind in the photo had been blown over the wall by the recent stormy waves, and made a great mini skid pan to try going sideways (away from the wall)
More coastal gloom:
The car was great all day. Plan for the coming week is to get the hand brake balanced up and maybe a good wash, as it’s in the garage manky! But crucially, not salty.
I started on the underside with a can of ACF-50 when refitting the brakes, looks like good stuff. I want to try and soak some nuts and fasteners that are badly corroded so I can replace them before I HAVE to remove them for anything else. In particular, the three back box mounts. It looks like the exhaust is lower at the driver’s side, so the rubbers may already be failing. They are the originals. So I’ll try and get all the nuts soaked a few times before trying to remove, replace with stainless and then change the mounts as needed.
Thanks for reading.
Not much work getting done over the past couple of weeks, still two brake callipers to remove and paint, but the M3 is never far from my thoughts! It’s also been dryer but salty on the roads, so I’ve not allowed myself out in it. But of course that doesn’t mean I can’t spend money on it…
I did a little more handbrake adjustment via the adjuster screw, accessed by removing the one wheel bolt. With the wheel on there is still room to adjust. It’s tricky, and needs a look with a torch to sight the tabs on the adjuster wheel. The spring over the wheel makes it harder still, but it’s still vastly quicker than a full strip down, and you can lift the wheel off the ground to check the shoes aren’t binding, which is handy.
My iPod wasn’t charging when I was last out, eventually leaving me to the depths of the radio reception when it went flat, so I checked the fuse and lo, a replacement 20A was needed, happy days.
I also checked my sat nav map disc in the boot, 2010. So I contacted Razza and got the 2016 map and latest firmware for the unit. It already had an M logo splash screen, so must have already been updated at some point.
On the parts side, the exhaust clamps to the back box have been replaced already, but one is maybe a Peugeot style one, and another boggo D style clamp. Not ideal, so I got a set of the stainless i6automotive ones. I’ll do a test fit and then the necessary grinding to one clamp, which sounds like it is inevitable given the experiences of others, despite the claims on the ebay listing for the clamps. I’ll hope to do this at the same time I remove the left rear calliper to paint.
Next up, I got a set of OE exhaust tail pipes from a fellow Cutter. They aren’t quite mint, and need a polish, but they should serve me perfectly. The dealer I got the car from had decided to replace the OE pipes with a larger one rather than simply cleaning the originals. To add insult to this injury, they didn’t rivet them on, they blobbed on some weld. Terrible. So I need to carefully get the old ones off before I can rivet the freshly polished ones back in place.
New old ones awaiting polish:
My recall letter for the air bag just came a week or so ago, so I booked it in with my local dealer in a couple of weeks time, when I can take it down on Saturday and wait while it’s being done.
I had a little time for cleaning this weekend, so I went for a great little run on Saturday first. Drove another favourite little bit of road from the Golf days (the start of the A702 from Dalry). I managed to get the DSC off for a 2nd gear uphill corner, to see what would happen, I wasn’t aggressive enough for a full slide, but got a little wiggle out of it. It was nice to experience the diff doing it’s magic. It’s a narrow two lane road, with a couple of narrower bridges, the surface has it’s Issues in places just now, but the best bit (heading north) is a couple of miles before Moniaive, there is a section with a ‘busy’ road surface, not broken, but undulating just so that the series of turns over maybe just a half mile has a frenzy to them. The car being bounced a little, just enough to make you feel like it’s a rally stage, and that your wresting the car down it, always need a rest after this bit!
After this I did a little interior cleaning. I had noticed a couple of bits I wanted to tidy. Hoovered the rear deck, doesn’t seem that faded:
Cleaned out the already clean boot, including a wipe down of the liner. The recess the warning triangle sits in had dirt in the corners, and it’s bracket was a little dusty:
Treating the door rubbers and cable rubbers as I went (auto glym vinyl and rubber care):
An interior hoover and a long bristle paint brush in the air vents and the inside was looking superb. The outside still very, very filthy. But I was out again on Sunday for another run of the Queens drive to Newton Stewart, salt on the roads, but I couldn’t resist. So Sunday was exterior wash day.
Scenery was great, although surprising cold outside. Brief stop at Clatteringshaws dam to let some traffic go:
I’d caught up on a Cayman a little before this, who on seeing me behind him had chipped on a little harder still, so that was fun for a few miles to follow someone. He had the same idea to pull over when we caught a queue of cars, so we had a brief chat, nice chap maybe in his 50’s, out with the wife for a run. No youngsters with Porches round my way!
On to Cally Palace for lunch. Nice place if you fancy sitting in a grand Victorian room for a brew and a sandwich.
The dirt reached its limit:
It was almost pleasingly dirty though, having been out in the rain several times and being such a hoot on every outing, it just looked a bit bad ass. Anyway, cleaned up nicely before the sun went down. With the new indicators and badge it looks very fresh faced at the front:
The rear end felt horridly rough once washed, so I took the clay to some of it:
But I gave up after a little bit as it was too cold really. Took a lot of rolling to kneed it every time. I'll do a full job once the weather warms a little.
So it was dried and tucked up in the garage on charge and under it’s cover as I’m away next weekend to meet more of the girlfriends family in Czech. It will next be out to go down the half mile to the BMW garage for the airbag the following week. When hopefully the road salting will be winding up.
Non M3 related update, but it might be of interest, apologies if not!
I'm not long back from a 5 day trip to the Czech Republic. The main focus was to visit my girlfriend’s family and friends, but she had arranged some surprises for me too, most notably for this thread, a visit to the Skoda museum and factory in Mlada Boleslav (an hour North East of Prague)! Until it was explained to me by some of her friends a while ago, I hadn't appreciated that Skoda was a Czech car company, if asked I might have guessed at Scandinavian I suppose. I got a telling off for that. As it turns out the two founders started in 1895, and it's one of I think 5 car companies that has an unbroken heritage of manufacture over the life span of automobiles, so quite impressive really. I'm not a particularly ardent Skoda fan, although I do like the look of most of their VRS products very much, and enjoyed driving a friends Fabia VRS a few hundred miles through France once, enough to have looked at a few for sale adds... So the museum was amusing enough for an hour.
The company had started by making bicycles when the founder couldn't get parts for his German bike in Czech, then motors was added making the first motorcycles before they moved to motorised carriages.
Restorations are undertaken by a team of 7, all cars were pretty concourse from every angle apart from the motorsport ones, left as raced I presume.
Regardless of admiration of the brand, seeing the factory was superb (no photos allowed in factory)! Most people in the town work for Skoda, so every family has a few people working there, their facilities are huge. The canteen does 17000 hot meals a day! It was a day of many numbers, most of which I've forgotten. We went first to the press hall, where rolls of sheet steel are cut, then pressed in to the various body panels. Huge presses, weighing many tons, the building itself was massive, 20m high ish, or more, with 33 ton crane beams! The press sets are colour coded for each car model. Any one panel uses a few presses to progressively cut out and press the finished panel shape. The machines go at a fair lick. The cut panels then go for welding and to get painted, neither of which we saw. We then saw the final assembly line, where the car shell is mounted on a moving floor/conveyor, and the staff are on the moving floor, fitting parts. They have 60 seconds to fit their part, then again on the next one. Busy stuff! Everything just bolts, clips and fastens in quickly. Dash boards are pre-assembled. A paper spec sheet for the car is taped to the bonnet, and the parts fitted are in line with that. There’s a mix of any model down the line at a time, various specs, hatch or estate etc. Very cool to see. Then each one is started up, driven round the factory to a short test track with rumble strip and rain simulation to check its water tight and that nothing falls off. So we were driving round the factory passing brand new cars going the other way! Most with white covers/protection on the paint. A great experience only an hour from Prague airport if you ever get the chance.
A passer-by stopping to play a little on one of the street pianos in Prague, quite an unusual sight to me:
I'd booked a hire car for the trip. Usual fare I suspect, booked a Golf, and was 'upgraded' to a Kia Cee'd. Which was an estate. We didn't need an estate! It was fine though, I was hoping for a golf, but was happy to have a go in anything new, as I never own cars less than 10 years old. I don't mind the looks of the kia, and if it wasn't for the pure badge snobbery I could have one if I needed one as a tool.
There's a better feel to most of the plastics that the appearance suggested, although the plastic wheel and gear lever were very plastic. Gear lever in fact had a fairly light plasticky clack noise on changes, not so nice. Good brakes though, horrid electric steering which indeed had no feel. A 1.6 diesel, only used half a tank over the trip, 350 miles ish, must have been happily over 50 mpg, it didn't have a read out that I was bothered to find or look for. It did have a very optimistic gear indicator, often suggesting I change up to 5th or 6th gear when barely doing 1700rpm. I obliged on a couple of occasions to be met with a rumble and ZERO throttle response, followed by changing back down and getting back the speed I lost in the whole sorry process. But in its torque band it went perfectly well and could catch up with traffic out of slip roads etc. So it did fine. I think fuel was about 27CZK a litre, so under 80p!
I didn't take the extra insurance, and feared the worst when a woman in an old astra estate used the rear bumper as a brake to her parking manoeuvre. We had just stopped ourselves, behind another parked car at the road side, were preparing to get out and felt a thud, like I had dropped the clutch when in gear on an idling engine, which I hadn't, it was the impact. Anyway, thankfully the lower black plastic portion of the bumper showed nothing that the dirt of the road wouldn't obscure, and we got away with it on returning the car. Being so mechanically sympathetic with my cars, it was nice to just use it as a tool and not worry about slamming doors, dirty feet, stalling by trying to pull away in 3rd several times (besides that and elbowing the door twice the left hand drive was fine), etc!
Great trip in all regards really, the family were all very nice despite not speaking English, and there was good food, cake shops, and pretty towns everywhere we went, the Gothic buildings in Prague are amazing. I've attached a couple of photos from the camera we had (which turned out to be more naff than expected unfortunately). We visited Loket too, a town used as a location for James Bond casino royal, and the GF's secondary scool!
Spa town of Karlovy Vary, with it’s 15 or so geothermal mineral springs around the town centre, this one at about 60 deg C. You are to buy a 'traditional' cup from a tourist shop, and drink from each spring. GF tells me if you drink enough, you're sure to **** yourself fairly comprehensively that night in your hotel... So we had one sip.
There is an idea to take another short holiday late April to drive the north coast 500 loop over about 4 days, so will get planning and hopefully do that. I did much of that route in the red golf quite a few years ago now, so it would be great to do it again.
Back to the M3, I had the airbag recall done today. No problems, and they didn't have a chance to wash it, as I was waiting. Further more, the nice lady at the desk printed me a copy of the previous warranty work, it had a rear spring and some wishbone bushes in it's early life. So I have a few more pages for my history file.
The dealer did the free health check, noticed slight play in a front drop link, but missed the broken exhaust rubber, which I noticed this afternoon. New one on the way, I just hope I can get the rusty nuts off.
Later in the day I went for a run out with a friend on his Honda 400 (CR i think), great fun on a sunny day with fairly quiet roads.